THE French have a lot to boast about.
Not only do they have a presidential couple who are the most visually enticing in the world (give or take the Obamas) but they are also home to mouth wateringly intense cheeses, award winning wines, and beautiful meat.
Café St Honoré may not have the Sarkozys amongst their clientele yet, but they do check off every French stereotype – from the superb wine list and menu, to the nonchalant service.
We strolled down the cobbled lane into Café St Honoré on a busy Thursday evening without a booking and were delighted to get a table. In addition to having claim to the Scottish Chef of the Year 2011, the atmosphere is one of the restaurant’s plus points. It buzzes with conversation and there always seems to be at least one French man gesticulating wildly in the corner. Thank goodness for good wine, as it was 50 minutes before our starter arrived. Nonetheless, the carpaccio with caramelised onion and rocket salad was chunkier than expected and delicious for it, and the mushrooms on brioche were licked from the plate.
Another 40 minutes and half bottle of wine later and we were greeted by our lamb – perfectly pink, on a bed of potatoes and beetroot. Any grumbles were cast aside when I discovered delicately cooked lamb kidneys amongst the meat.
Fearful we would be there until Sunday if we ordered a desert, we skipped straight to a double espresso and tablet. Café St Honoré may have food worthy of Nicolas and Carla, but it’s definitely one to save for a long night with lots of conversation and nowhere else to be.
Café St Honoré 34 North West Thistle Street Lane, 0131 226 2211